Stalag Luft III POW patch The Story of Stalag Luft III
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For the average World War II flier who ended up at Stalag Luft III -- the prison camp for downed airmen run by the Luftwaffe -- his last mission became the Longest Mission.  Typically, his mission began before dawn at an airfield somewhere in England, North Africa, or Italy.  It ended months or years later with the liberation of Stalag VIIA on April 29, 1945.

While at Stalag Luft III, his mission continued unabated, but not his role.  He went from flier to prisoner of war in a matter of minutes.  His new task was to contribute to the war effort as a Kriege, from the German term for prisoner of war, Kriegsgefangener .    His duty now was survival, communication, and escape.  He no longer engaged his enemy in the air, but met him in the isolation of an interrogation cell at Dulag Luft or at another enemy installation.  He met him behind the barbed wire at Stalag Luft III, on a forced-march in the dead of winter, or in the mare's nest of Stalag VIIA.



U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, 11 Dec 16
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